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November 23, 2009

Since coming back to the city, I have been finding it hard to get mushrooms out of my head. Of the myriad dishes circling my thoughts, standing out is a stuffed, rolled loin of pork. Stuffed, of course, with mushrooms: a sort of pork wellington roly-poly without the pastry. Perhaps within the stuffing, I’d throw in a little garlic, thyme and sage. 

There is something rather elegant and impressive about rolled food – roulades – and they are slightly under appreciated as a structure. They offer the chance to meld the flavours of two ingredients, rather than leaving them side by side on the plate. It is also a very practical way of serving large numbers of people – the tight roulade logs are neatly efficient of space in the oven and quick carving to get food out of the kitchen rapidly.

I have been envisaging a fanciful little scoring on the outside, diagonal slashes packed with seasoning. With the loin flattened, gently scoring diagonally across it, before rubbing in some herbs, garlic and seasoning and oil. When rolled up, neatly and symmetrically, the scoring would appear as a helical trench around the meat, like the threading on a bolt.

I’m struggling to think what will be best with this. Perhaps crispy-fluffy roast potatoes or perhaps some sort of potato cake/stovie. And served with some roast roots, completing an earthy plateful.

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